Tag Archives: ESPN

Now that the Donald Sterling Controversy has Died Down, it’s Time to Discuss the Most Overlooked Aspect of that Whole Debacle

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It seems like forever ago that TMZ released the tapes of soon-to-be former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling telling his “personal assistant” that her African-American friends were not welcome at Clippers games.  But in all reality it was just a few short weeks ago in which this all transpired.    We have all heard the standard takes:  The most popular one has been the sports radio guys acting like this is the end of the world and pretty much suggesting this asshole be executed in public.  It’s become a content of one-upsmanship to the most disturbing degree, and par for the course in this wonderland of manufactured outrage.

Then there have been those who said that we should have all seen this coming.  This a genuine take (and one that Dubs had in his podcast) that suggests that we all knew Donald Sterling was a racist before we heard this on tape.  He’s been chasing minorities out of his properties for decades, which is almost unthinkable when you consider he’d never set foot in any of those places without a gallon of hand sanitizer in his hand.  (Of course I’m kidding – he’d probably have his “assistant” carrying it…)  Sterling was known to check players out in the locker room and feel their muscles almost as if he was purchasing slaves, and if I listed every other reason why he’s racist this column wouldn’t get finished until we’re done with the great Russian War of 2017.     But throughout all of that, we seem to have been missing what is the most overlooked point of this entire situation.  A point that has been glossed over so much it’s almost hard to believe nobody is talking about, but then again that’s what Sports Blog Movement is for.  And that point is… Continue reading

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10 Stages of an NFL Meltdown

TP_373300_WALL_35_Bucs09161.1_11575141_8colTeam meltdowns— we’ve all seen them happen. It happened to the Jets last year. The Buccaneers are in the middle of a meltdown as we speak. If you’re a Raiders or Browns fan, you get to experience a meltdown every year! But how does it happen? How does a perfectly decent NFL team go from a preseason favorite, to an unmitigated deteriorating sack of suck in the matter of a season? Actually, the process is quite simple. Here are the ten stages of an NFL team meltdown.

1. High Expectations

In order for it to be considered a meltdown, people actually need to think your team is talented. By people, I mean any sports writer or commentator not named Skip Bayless. I believe it was Mike Florio, Editor of Pro Football Talk—and a man whose opinion I respect— who picked the Kansas City Chiefs to win the AFC West last year. Instead, the Chiefs were the worst team in the NFL at 2-14. When a respected analyst makes that big of a gaffe, only then can it be considered a meltdown.

2. The Losses

At stage two, the team will begin to lose. Badly. Okay, so maybe the first couple games were close. Then comes the blowout. The QB throws five interceptions and the defensive gives up 40+ points. “It’s a long season,” coaches will tell the media. “We’ve dug ourselves a hole but I have confidence in our guys.”

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Is 2014 Washington States’ Best Chance to Host College Gameday Since 2011?

A College Gameday tradition was born during the 2003 college football season. That year marked the first time a WSU flag appeared in the back ground; that year was also the last of Washington State’s 10-win seasons. The apperance of the flag on Gameday was designed to draw attention to the recent-and recent success- of Cougar football, and to get the show out to Pullman. As you all know, Game Day didn’t make it to the Palouse in 2003.

And as any Coug fan can tell you, Cougar football fell of the face of the earth after 2003. Despite that, Gameday was still looking for an excuse to come to Pullman, and in 2011 Paul Wulff’s squad almost gave them a reason too. Against UCLA that year, the Cougs had a lead before allowing the Bruins to score and take the lead late in the fourth quarter; and then Lobbestael threw on the ensuing Cougar drive, sealing the Bruins victory. WSU fell to 3-2 heading into its homecoming match-up against an Andrew Luck lead Stanford. A couple of days after  that loss, Chris Fowler tweeted out that if the Cougs had held on to their lead over the Bruins, College Gameday would have headed to Pullman for the Stanford game…ouch.

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What We Learned From Week One of the 2013 NFL Season

By J-Dub and Ryan Meehan

Without any further fanfare, let’s just get to the stuff week one of the NFL season showed us.

1) Peyton Manning’s performance hid the fact the Broncos’ defense sucks.

If Thursday night taught us anything, it’s that the Broncos are indeed going to struggle on the defensive side of the ball.  By “struggle,” we’re talking something akin to a turtle on its back getting gang-raped by a group of Hell’s Angels all to an all Kenny G soundtrack. If you consider all of the mistakes that Baltimore made offensively, the fact that Denver gave up 27 points is pretty pathetic.  Ray Rice is a pretty solid “yards after contact” guy, but against the Ponies defense, he got more second chances than Robert Downey Jr.

Not to mention, we aren’t even counting the mistake made on the interception return that by all that is right in the football universe should have resulted in yet another Broncos’ touchdown. This is where Danny Trevathan had a “Honey Badger meets DeSean Jackson” level brain-fart. After making the pick, and cruising to what should have been the “pick-six” part of this, he inexplicably released the ball before he crossed the goal line in a momentary lapse of judgment reminiscent of a young DeSean Jackson.  As you would hope, Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio ripped Trevathan’s ass open like he was Edward Norton in the prison shower scene in American History X, because Denver can’t expect Grandpa Manning to chuck 7 touchdowns every week.   

Besides, expecting Fetushead Manning to bail you out on a weekly basis is a reasonably solid plan in the regular season, it’s going to kill Denver in the play-offs.  Given the past history, Manning will get you a shit-load of wins between September and  December, but in January he becomes as dependable as a nine dollar cell phone. The problem is that after Thursday, Bronco Nation is “all in” on that phone you wouldn’t trust your grandmother’s life with; they now expect that every time the elder Manning brother steps onto the field, he is going to throw more successful scoring passes than a 1970’s Warren Beatty with a sugar bowl full of coke.  This will prove to be like expecting Wendy’s employee to give a lecture on nuclear fission in between the time it takes after you’ve consumed an entire a double Baconator combo meal with extra cheese and mayonnaise and when you regain consciousness staring up at the paramedics.

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A championship-level NFL defense is supposed to dominate opposing offenses like the Red Army rolled through Prague in 1968.  Without Von Miller until week 7, and with no real replacement for Elvis Dumervil, the Bronco idea of defense is a bit like Saddam Hussein promising the “Mother of all Battles” while rolling out to meet the U.S. Marine Corps with a half-dozen Buick LeSabres.  To keep the military analogies going, the Ravens played the role of France as they let der grüppenfuhrer  Manning goose-step down the Champs-Elyseés while they were busy worrying about how to properly stomp the wine grapes.

But not everybody is going to lay down for the Blitzkrieg like Baltimore did.  To win in January, eventually this Bronco defense is going to have to show it can stop somebody.

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OMG ESPN STFU PED AROD

espnMore often than not hypocrisy is a byproduct of arrogance or ignorance. When you have a person or group of people that are both, well…forget the shovel and get a backhoe, because its about to get deep.

Very few groups of people are as arrogant and/or ignorant as today’s North American athlete. Some attend college, fewer actually pay attention.  Almost all of them live in an insulated cocoon, convinced that the world really does revolve around them. They truly believe tens of thousands of adoring fans long to hear every vapid, incoherent thought that pops into their oft concussed brain.

All the stupid shit they say isn’t even surprising anymore. It’s not like there are reprecussions or anything. For the athletes that are talented enough to generate millions (sometimes billions) of dollars for the owners/school presidents, they truly can do nothing wrong.  Let’s face it, if you or I did or said anything close to what these clowns did our bosses would replace us in a minute and forget we ever existed 30 seconds later. But that’s only because we don’t make them millions (billions) of dollars. If you had skills or talents that made your boss insanely rich you would be allowed to act like a complete douche canoe without reprisal, too.

But this week has been an avalanche of bullshit from the world of sports. A nonstop barrage of verbal diarrhea in dangerous proportions, and it’s only Tuesday.  When Mark McGwire said, “I wish I was never a part of (the steroid era)… Just get rid of (PED’s),” that is hypocrisy of the highest order. That’s like Larry Flynt apologizing for “…that one time I was a little off-color.”

Mark McGwire thinks the punishments should be longer? He regrets being “part of it?”  DUDE…you weren’t a “part,” you were the guy who started it. You know the whole “Bash Brothers” thing? 73 homeruns? Chicks dig the long ball? Ring any bells?

The entire Steroid Era began with McGwire and Canseco in an Oakland bathroom and now he wants to see longer suspensions to end it? How convenient his conscience kicks in now that he is done making millions.  Sounds like something that might have been nice to say at the congressional inquiry he was called to in 2005. Instead he spoke in empty, measured platitudes and lawyerese. Now he wants to spew some sanctimonious rhetoric about the pitfalls of taking the drugs that made him a millionaire 100 times over:

“It’s not worth it at all,” McGwire said.

Seriously, just shut up. I fully believe his remorse and guilt, really I do. But he is the last person that needs to be talking right now. Politely decline the question and go about your business as a hitting coach. Which, how a guy with a career .263 BA and 20.3 SO% is qualified to be a hitting coach above little league is beyond me.

Then there’s Rex Ryan pleading with NY fans and media to “cut Sanchez a break.”  Really?

First off: Sanchez sucks. He doesn’t deserve a break and New York wouldn’t give him one even if he did. Win some freakin’ games or go host a game show on Animal Planet, Sanchize.

Second: Who was it that traded for Tim Tebow last year? Was that trade made at the insistence of the NY Post? Or the fans? No, that was Dr. Scholls himself. Maybe it would have been nice if Rex Ryan cut Sanchez a break and not brought over the mother of all distractions. Or better yet maybe he could cut us all a break and stop making ridiculous predictions that his roster and coaching acumen have no hope of fulfilling. If Ryan had any clue what market he is in (which apparently he still doesn’t) he would know that asking the fans and media to go easy on him is actually going to make things worse.  Remember in “Dazed and Confused” when they asked Ben Affleck to “go easy on” one kid during freshmen hazing? Yea…it’s going to be like that. I’m sure the rest of the Jets are asking Sanchez to leave out the back gate after practice every day. Way to go, Rex.

And while ESPN has a hard-on for all trivial things NY and Tebow related, that’s nothing compared to their mental disorder level fascination with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.  If ESPN wanted to report something that was actually news they would search college campuses across America and find a college QB that isn’t a total douche canoe. It’s hardly news to report college football players are total meatheads, but the hypocrisy that the NCAA is investigating him for alleged autograph violations is beyond ridiculous.

Isn’t the NCAA the governing body that allowed Penn State to operate a summer camp for pedophiles for a decade? But GOD FORBID some kid gets $20 for signing a ball cap. What’s next, are we going to limit the number of blowjobs the football players are allowed to receive, lest we consider those as “improper compensation for performance?”

According to Arrrestnation.com  there were 524 athletes arrested in 2012. Over 72% (381) were college athletes, 264 in college football alone. Stories like this from Elizabeth City College are hardly unique. Campus crimes go unreported all the time, and it’s probably a safe bet to assume student athletes commit more than their share. So for the NCAA to spend their time investigating Manziel for profiting from autographs is almost comical. Athletes can run amok on campus and the NCAA has no fucks to give, but some kid gets a few thousand bucks and they bring the law?

Puuuhhleeease.

But the greatest offender in this week’s avalanche of bullshit is the media.  This morning’s one hour broadcast of Sportscenter was 43 minutes. Of which they spent 12 minutes talking about what actually happened in sports and 31 minutes talking about quasi-sports related bullshit (See: A-Rod, Manziel.)  Of all of the great things going on in sports the only two topics of conversation on ESPN are about a sophomore QB making a few extra bucks and Alex Rodriguez taking drugs. Both are about as surprising as reporting that the Flyers have goalie issues, Miguel Cabrera is a pretty good hitter and that most men would pick Kate over Justin Upton in a wet T-Shirt contest.

Think the media didn’t know about what was happening in Happy Valley? Don’t kid yourself. It’s their job to know about things like that. They knew, and said nothing. And they know about what happens on college campuses, too. But they would rather make some idiotic story about a knucklehead jock selling autographs as their top story and then pretend to be some beacon of truth and morality for doing so.

The vast majority of sports writers are sycophantic hypocrites of the worst kind.  They create some larger than life persona of “Johnny Football” only to take immense joy in tearing it down just as quickly as they fabricated the image in the first place.  They will portray mock horror at the PSU scandal when they knew about it a decade ago. Maybe longer. They love to play the concerned parent. The sympathetic neighbor. Spare me.

Maybe I missed the part where sports turned into a VH1 reality show. Maybe I’m getting old and cynical. Maybe a lot of people who make a living talking should take a break and let sports fan enjoy, you know, sports.

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The Riley Cooper Situation: Yet Another Exercise in the Exploitation of Racism for Profit

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Last week, steroids were the worst thing to ever happen in the history of the sports world.  Trust me, there was absolutely no hyperbole spewing from the mouths of the sports media gasbags when they were saying this. Never mind there were sandwiching the steroid conversation with talk about a guy who may have killed at least one person. Let’s be honest, it is common knowledge in the sports media world that steroids are definitely worse than murder. The disproportionate amount of coverage given to these topics bears that out.

That was until Philadelphia Eagles’ wide receiver Riley Cooper got caught on video saying the word “nigger.” In one fell swoop, racism became the worst thing ever in the history of the sports world.  It was worse than killing somebody, It was worse than the systematic use of illegal drugs. That’s right, a single word became the worst thing in the history of the sports world, and I have  a one-word answer for that.

Bullshit.

Forget about the ridiculousness inherent in a bunch of reporters blowing a story completely out of proportion; they do that anyway, so it all evens out. Forget about the idea that the systematic use of performance-enhancing drugs has become as issue that threatens to mess up the integrity of just about every sport out there (Has anybody been caught juicing in curling yet?) Forget about the idea that anybody is supposed to believe that the utterance of a single word is worse than that shooting somebody in the back of the head.  I’m not even going to get into the utter hypocrisy that if a white guys says “nigger,” he’s instantly somewhere between Adolf Hitler and the guy who changed the formula for Coca-Cola, and a black guy can say it with impunity (such as me exactly 24 words ago). Hell, Stephen A. Smith probably has “nigger” printed on his business card.

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SBM Exclusive Feature: Tales of Hypocrisy and Confusion – ESPN and The “Instant Replay in Baseball” Argument

by Ryan Meehan

Monday night there was an incident in the Tampa Bay Rays/Boston Red Sox game where pinch runner Daniel Nava was called out at home plate when he was clearly safe.  It continued the debate about the current status of replay and how it is used in the game of baseball.

Personally, I don’t think there’s anything to discuss.  I have always said that expanding instant replay can only help baseball.  I think the whole “disrupting the flow of the game” stance is weak because the need for review happens so infrequently that it’s a moot point.  But there’s something going on that has been bothering me.  Every time there is a questionable call like that, ESPN shows how hypocritical they can really be.  Their airwaves are full of debate over whether or not it’s time for Bud Selig to get his head out of his asshole and finally do what I consider to be the right thing.  Which is precisely where the hypocrisy comes in…

All these analysts like Barry Larkin, John Krukunisticle, Curt Schilling, and Nomar Hamm seem to have what they think are “strong stances” when it comes to how instant replay is used in baseball.  But it gives them a TON of talking point fodder, and they already know what they are going to say.  It’s not inventive, it’s recycled material, and it’s hardly entertainment.  In a sense, they are the standup comedian that shows up at open mic every Thursday, and instead of using that opportunity to test out new material the guy walks out there and trudges through the same eight minutes he’s been doing since 1998.  I use that analogy because not only am I a huge comedy fan, but because that’s an accurate representation of how stale everybody’s takes on this issue are.  (Speaking of which, could you imagine Larkin trying to do standup?  “How many of you in the audience tonight have kids who are star collegiate athletes?  Anybody?  Boy…tough room…”)

This whole topic has been beat to death.  Guys doing life with no parole for eating their wives after carving them up with paring knives know that instant replay in almost every form except for balls and strikes is probably a good idea.  And if a bunch of dudes who use their own urine to make booze behind bars can figure that out, you can only imagine how easy it should be for the panty wastes that run MLB to do the same.

But for the analysts to sit there and act like they are so frustrated with the way this issue is handled (or in some cases defend the level of difficulty associated with being a Major League ump, and say that the game should be kept traditional) doesn’t sync up well with the fact that these same analysts LOVE it when this happens.  Why?  Because they’re that comic who doesn’t have to write new material.  They don’t have to have a fresh take, they simply have some jackhole intern pull the tape of the last time this happened and then go off that.  It’s not only hypocrisy, it’s weak reporting and the word “uninventive” keeps coming to mind.

If these guys really have these beliefs and they aren’t simply listening to what the producers are telling them to say, then that’s fine.  But to sit there and act like they didn’t just get away with having to do their segment devoid of any thought is just plain nauseating.  It sucks taint that hoping our bloated and technologically advanced media coming up with a great sports channel is starting to look like more and more of a pipe dream.

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